In a last-ditch attempt to prevent Donald Trump from being elected President, Democrats pathetically tried to encourage Republican Presidential electors to vote for anyone else. The media put a lot attention on the otherwise overlooked fact that it’s perfectly legal for electors to vote for whomever they wish. One of those Presidential electors cast their vote for three time Presidential candidate Ron Paul. When asked how he felt about “ignoring the will of the voters”, Ron Paul replied he was pleased the elector who voted for him followed the “will of the Constitution”.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, all of the focus the media placed on electors’ right to vote for whomever they choose ended up backfiring. Hillary Clinton ended up losing five electoral votes whereas Donald Trump only lost two. Three of the Democrats’ faithless electors voted for Colin Powell, one for Bernie Sanders, and one for Faith Spotted Eagle. It appears Democrats were really set on nominating a failed Secretary of State who was wrong about Iraq and had an illegal email set up. On the Republican side, one elector chose to vote for John Kasich and one cast his vote for Ron Paul.
With the defections, Donald Trump cleared the 270 electoral vote majority by an even higher margin. Nonetheless, conservatives were still up in arms about the two electors who dared vote for someone other than the President-elect. Days after the vote, Ron Paul went on Fox Business to discuss the matter and was met with a fairly loaded question. The former Texas Congressman pushed back on the assertion that the Presidential elector who voted for him went against the will of the people. As Ron Paul explained, the elector actually followed the “will of the Constitution” which specifically allows electors to vote their conscience.
Although he appreciates the original intent of the Constitution, Ron Paul did recommend some changes to the Electoral College. He suggested that electoral votes be awarded proportionally instead of winner take all. That would have allowed the Libertarian Party to receive about a dozen votes this year even though they weren’t able to win a state. Gary Johnson won over 3% of the popular vote nationwide and nearly 10% of the vote in New Mexico. That’s certainly a change that independents could get behind. Hopefully there will be more attention paid to the Electoral College after everything that’s happened this year, and needed reforms can be passed in the future.